Leaping Into Lunar New Year


January 22 marked the beginning of the week-long celebration of Lunar New Year,  otherwise known as Chinese New Year, among cultures across Asia. 

Family traditions for this holiday differ from household to household. Most commonly, families fold dumplings together and cook meals in celebration. Some may boil a coin and hide it in the dumpling. The person who bites into the dumpling with the coin will have good luck for the rest of the year. Many also put red and gold paper on  houses’ doors and entryways in order to ensure good luck from the current year to stay in and to let in wealth, prosperity and good fortune into the home. Red represents good luck, gold represents wealth and prosperity.

The Rabbit is the zodiac of the year, with the Chinese zodiac calendar containing 12 animals, each one in order from who won a mythical race in traditional legend. Unlike other zodiacs, Chinese Zodiacs depend on the year each person is born into, with the different Zodiacs affecting the person’s future and personality. Those born into the year of the rabbit are said to have a kind and pure heart, a responsible and gentle soul as well as being quite elegant and alert like the animal their year represents. 

Lion and dragon dances are both performed by skilled performers, with the lion performed by two acrobatics while the dragon practices the rhythm of drum gongs and manned by nine or more people depending on the length of the dragon. With many celebrations, such as parades that include firecrackers, fireworks, dragon and lion dances to help welcome in the new year. 

While not all those who identify as Asian celebrate the Lunar New Year, as of 2021 3% of SVHS students identify themselves as Asian making the representation for holidays even smaller, compared to other schools with more diverse populations.